Author: John Gwynne
Page Count: 628
Format Read: Paperback
Keywords: Giants, Greed, Murder
Kid Appropriate: Teens and older
When I first picked this book up at Barnes & Noble it was because I had seen Piera Forde raving about it and the rest of The Faithful and the Fallen series. Her excitement mixed when a pretty good rating on Goodreads led me to take the plunge. For the first 200 pages I enjoyed it but was not getting the hype. Then Storm came into the picture and the story became beyond addictive.
This book is an impressive debut and an amazing epic high fantasy novel. Everything is done in such a way that character development, pacing, and world building progress at natural rates rather than being forced or sluggish.
When I read Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings I remember expecting so much from the books and being let down. They were slow, plodding things that were saved from bad ratings by their epic conclusions. This book was everything that I wish George R. R. Martin’s series had been. It was a fantastic mix of satisfying novel on its own and exciting beginning to a new series.
The characters are mostly younger at the beginning of the novel, either children growing into young adults or older teens growing into warriors/men. I really was stunned when I realized how much time had passed in the novel because it felt like nothing. Normally multiple perspective novels get bogged down because you’re waiting to experience what every character is experiencing at the same time and it drags. Surprises aren’t surprises because you already learned about them two chapters ago and you’re bored. This one kept moving forward throughout, not stalling on any point in time. That made the story so much more enjoyable and feel like it was flying.
In short, this is a long book that will require a degree of dedication to get into. This is especially true if you are not already accustomed to the adult fantasy genre. However, if you are able to stick it out and allow yourself to fall into the story you will be met with well developed characters, a lush setting, a well paced story, and a great adventure that sets you up for a sure to be satisfying series.
Another point that made me fall in love with this story were the canine characters. I am frankly appalled by the unabashed dog abuse that I have seen in fantasy novels this year from The Assassin’s Apprentice to Girls of Paper and Fire. As a dog lover I can’t stomach this common trend in my favorite genre. John Gwynne has earned a loyal reader with his treatment of the canine companions in this book. They are not necessarily invincible creatures that have a shield constantly around them but any harm that may befall them makes sense and is natural. It is not gratuitous violence.
The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Page Count: 730
Format Read: 10th Anniversary Hardcover
Keywords: Magic, Words, Family
Kid Appropriate: Teens and older
I absolutely loved the first half of this novel. Thinking it was one of the most amazing fantasy novels I have ever read and devouring the pages with excitement. The storytelling tactic of one character telling the other a tale is one of my favorites so I expected to love this one. However, around 60% through this book it began to slow down considerably and I became disconnected from our cocky Kvothe as the originally of the tale began to fade and it felt like many other fantasy novels I have read over the years. Still worth the read but definitely did not make my favorites list like most other readers.
About the Author of Adventures In Obsessive Reading
Ms. Winkle is an author and book blogger. Bleeding Heart is the first installment in her Guardian Chronicles series and her first novel. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Montana, an MA in International Security from the University of Arizona. When she isn’t studying she can usually be found with a dog and a book.